NEW YORK – He’s already made one visit back to Chicago since his trade to the Yankees last July, so one of his reunions has already been taken care of.
Another, most likely a more emotional one, comes this weekend at the ballpark that he now calls home.
Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo will face the Cubs for the first time since he was traded away at last year’s deadline as his former team visits Yankee Stadium starting on Friday. The teams will meet for a three-game series as they play each other for the first time in the Bronx since the 2014 season.
As for Rizzo, it will mark only the second time that he’s faced the Cubs since making his debut in Major League Baseball. He played them on September 28, 2011 as a member of the San Diego Padres and was traded to Chicago that offseason.
It’s the third time that the Cubs have faced a member of their team’s 2016 championship “core” since the trade deadline last season, and both times it involved Kris Bryant. As a member of the Giants, he returned to Wrigley Field last September for a three-game series then faced the Cubs as a member of the Rockies in Denver in April.
The team has yet to face Javier Baez, who was with the Mets at the end of last season before joining the Tigers this offseason.
During his visit to Chicago in May, Rizzo made it clear that there was no ill will between himself and the Cubs over how things went down at the trade deadline.
“It’s business and that’s what it is. They had to make tough business decisions. As a human being, was I pissed off? Of course. But as a baseball player, who sees what happens, and this is business, that’s the way it is,” said Rizzo on May 12th. “As far as hashing it out, I don’t think there’s much to hash out. It’s just understanding of its business, and I wish them well.”
In 56 games this season, Rizzo is batting .220/.319/.483 with 14 home runs and 39 RBI on a Yankees team that is currently the best in baseball with a 41-16 record.